In a feathery showcase of America’s most-celebrated Thanksgiving dish, A Helena education center brought in some live turkeys today. Dubbed “Turkey Tuesday”, the occasion allowed some local kids to see three of the iconic birds in real life, in all their waddley gobbley glory.
“I think that connections really been lost with a lot of kids,” said Exploration Works Education Director Jamie O’Malley. “It’s nice to know where your food comes from.”
The turkeys, Tom Tilly and Tallulah, belong to O’Malley. She bought them last spring as a hobby for her family. At that time they fit in the palm of her son’s hand. Not anymore, though. O’Malley said Tom now weighs about 25 pounds and the two lady birds each come in at about 20 pounds.
“We’re really enjoying these turkeys, they have a lot of personality,” O’Malley said, “as much a turkey can have, I don’t know.”
Families visited the turkeys out at the fenced-in Exploration Works garden. O’Malley fed the turkeys and showed kids how making a turkey sound could at times elicit a gobble from Tom.
Kelly Wendt brought in her two bundled-up little boys, 3-year-old Matthew and 5-year-old Luke. Luke took a liking to the birds and fought for an alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving.
“We're gonna eat pizza for Thanksgiving, not turkeys!” he said.
“He’s running a campaign,” Kelly said. “I’m not sure he’s gonna win, though.”
As for Tom, Tilly and Tallulah, O’Malley said these three birds have been pardoned. She wants to use them for breeding.
“They have a stay of execution and they will be living on our happy little farm until the end of their natural life," O’Malley said.
She can’t make that promise for their progeny, however.